After a two-year hiatus, former U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the social media platform X, once known as Twitter. He posted his mugshot, and the internet quickly turned it into meme gold. Soon after, the value of his NFT collection skyrocketed.
This comes on the heels of a released photo of Trump tied to his legal troubles in Georgia, where he’s accused of trying to tamper with the 2020 election.
Statistics from the NFT marketplace OpenSea show that the minimum price for Trump’s digital trading cards, initially launched in December 2022, jumped by over 62%—from 0.138 to 0.224 Ether (ETH), or roughly $1,654 as of August 24. This uptick coincided with the widespread sharing of his mugshot, which made headlines as the first-ever of a current or former U.S. president facing criminal charges.
The case in Georgia alleges that Trump and 18 others engaged in a scheme to manipulate voters to try to win the 2020 election, which he lost to Joe Biden. All involved parties were told to turn themselves in to Georgia authorities by August 25. Trump showed up on August 24 and was released on a $200,000 bond.
Beyond Georgia, Trump also faces federal charges in D.C. for allegedly trying to overturn the election results. He’s involved in other legal issues as well, including a classified documents case and a New York case related to a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Interestingly, despite his skepticism about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Trump was found to have over $2.8 million in an Ethereum wallet, as revealed by the nonprofit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
During his presidency, Joe Biden has taken steps to regulate digital assets, but his efforts have faced criticism from various lawmakers and industry insiders. After Trump’s mugshot went public, users on X wasted no time in turning the image into memes, adding laser eyes and making other alterations.
Trump, who remains the Republican Party’s front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination, opted out of the party’s first debate on August 23. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his main competition according to multiple polls, pledged to ban central bank digital currencies if he wins. Meanwhile, Vivek Ramaswamy, another Republican who gained attention during the debate, had previously spoken at the Bitcoin 2023 conference and called the 2024 election a “referendum on fiat currency.”